Derry’s new Peace Bridge will boost the health of the population and fuel the city’s pride, says local GP Dr Joe McEvoy.
The practitioner from Bayview Medical believes the new structure - which is due to be officially opened on June 25 - will not only improve the general health of those who chose to use the foot and cycle bridge but also boost the collective mental health of the population by helping to heal old “psychological” divisions in the city.
Dr McEvoy refers to the new addition to Derry’s infrastructure as another symbolic “strengthening of bonds” between the two sides of the city.
“It always surprised me that some people from the Waterside say they don’t leave their area to go to the city and that likewise some people on the city side say they never go to the Waterside.
“Maybe the new bridge can change those attitudes and improve the health of the city on the psychological side as well as encouraging people to walk or cycle rather than drive.”
And the GP believes the £14m foot and cycle bridge can only breed the feel good factor in the lives of those who use it.
“When I look at it in the mornings before going to work it gives me a lift.
“It certainly gives me pride in the city in which I live and I’d be very proud to have my relations in Belfast come to see it. I see it as something to swell one’s chest about.”
A Limavady Road resident himself, Dr Evoy often cycles to work using the Craigavon Bridge.
He expects that the new bridge will encourage more people to walk or cycle to work or socialise in the city centre.